When it comes to promoting your practice and attracting new patients, there are a multitude of marketing tasks you can do. But one thing is for sure: Sometimes you have to get creative in order to reach the masses. If you are looking for an affordable way to reach people and let them know about your practice you may want to consider doing meetups, both online and in person, to get to know people.
Some innovative doctors are turning to using meetups in an effort to reach more people. Once you have created your meetup group you can begin to brainstorm about all the various topics you can cover in order to both spread your message and draw in new patients.
Some of the types of online and in person meetups you want to consider scheduling include:
• Healthy Cooking Demonstrations: Find a local chef that would like to team up and have that person do the demo.
• Insurance Question-and-Answer Segments
• Ask a Doctor Hour: Take medical and health questions from participants.
• Fun Community Nights: Throw a popcorn and movie meetup in your office for families to attend. Give away a few prizes.
• Run a Weight Loss Boot Camp: Require that each participant get a physical at your office to begin with, as well as weigh in there each week.
• Topic-focused Webinars: Hold meetups that would be of interest to women who are pregnant, such as covering pregnancy and childbirth issues.
• Wellness Education: Provide a variety of wellness education meetups. These can focus on topics that are timely, such as flu season or summer safety tips.
Holding one of these wellness education events per week, or every other week, can help grow your practice. Be sure to tailor the types of events to your area of practice. As you schedule these events you will also want to write up a press release or media alert message and send it to your local newspapers and television stations. This will help to spread the message of the event.
When it comes to where to hold the meetups, aim for having them at your office most of the time, if possible. This will get people familiar with your office. Be sure to have information about your practice available and be personable. If you come off as a sincere and knowledgeable doctor they may be apt to booking their next appointment with you, rather than someone else. For those meetups that you want to hold online, instead of in person, use an online video conference site (see resources below). Give people a time to log online and be a part of the video conference event.
Every new physician’s practice takes time to grow. The people in your community need to know you are there, learn what your message is about, and decide to make the call to your office. You can help them do all that by offering community meetups that give them useful information, get them involved, and introduce yourself to them.
Internet Meeting Resources:
• Meetup.com - http://www.meetup.com
• Google Hangout - http://www.google.com/+/learnmore/hangouts/
• GoToMeeting - http://www.gotomeeting.com
• WebEx - http://www.webex.com
Michael Woo-Ming, MD MPH, is a family physician / entrepreneur, and founder of RepMD.com, a medical marketing consultancy firm helping physicians and clinics improve their ROI and increase their practice revenue, by attracting new patients via the Internet. E-mail him here.